Last night’s Atlas Genius show at The Independent in San Francisco felt more like a homecoming than a rock concert. When lead singer, Keith Jeffery, told the sold out crowd that “It’s been a long time, San Francisco!” the fans that had been eagerly awaiting the return of the Australian indie rock duo went crazy. You could hear them utter “We love you” from all corners of the room, which felt like a genuine testament to the kind of fervent devotion and adoration that they’ve developed for the two brothers that make up the band.
Keith kicked off the set with a strong performance of “Symptoms,” and the combination of up-tempo guitar licks and disco tinged drum beats inspired everyone in the audience to start clapping and dancing along to the song. Without missing a beat they went directly into the contagiously catchy “If So”. The reverberating guitars and familiar pop hooks were all there, and the fact that the Jeffery brothers are so easy on the eyes definitely had an impact on the women in the audience who were left swooning at their every glance.
But it wasn’t until they played their big hit “Trojans,” that the energy was at it’s highest, that the hands came up to clap, and the floor started to shake from the all of the dancing feet in the house. They followed the song by testing some new material as well, at which point Keith said “This is the very first we’ve played since the album’s come out”. They played “Friendly Apes”, which yielded yet another rousing round of applause from the young crowd of mostly 20-somethings who had all congregated to The Independent on a Sunday night.
About the new direction of the band’s music, Jeffery said in a press release, “It didn’t make sense for me musically to write a bunch of happy, cheery pop songs. We were constantly being drawn to darker guitar and synths sounds, as well as some slower rhythms.”
Jeffery describes their first single “Molecules,” as a song about equality and our place in the universe. He said, “It’s also about the relative scale of things. Do we really have as big of a say in our destiny as we like to think we do? On a universal level, I would say that perhaps we don’t.”
“For me,” says Keith, “each song is a tiny little intimate moment that explodes.” And that’s ultimately what “Inanimate Objects” is – a collection of moments that speaks to the heart of the human experience. It’s a search for hope, embrace of change, and, finding one’s home.
For that evening, it seemed like Atlas Genius had found a home, in San Francisco, playing in front of 1000 of their closest friends.